When you got married, you probably vowed to love your partner “’till death do us part.” But if you’re in a happy marriage, you will have many years before that promise will come true. According to a recent study published in Health Journal, happily married people have a higher life expectancy. Do you believe it?

Looking At The Facts

The study reported that married people who rated their unions as “happy” have 20 percent lower odds of dying early than individuals in unhappy marriages. Over 19,000 married couples up to 90 years old participated in the survey between 1978 and 2010. Researchers then tracked the couples’ health and survival through 2014.

The research indicated that people who said they were in happy marriages did not die young. But why are they living longer?

Good Marriage Improves Health

Study co-author Mark Whisman, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Colorado-Boulder, commented that there are multiple ways a happy marriage improves one’s health. For example, married couples may encourage their partner to have a similar diet as them, exercise with them, and visit a doctor for routine physicals.

But a happy marriage also improves one’s mental health. A marriage provides you with a meaningful purpose in life and a sense of security. According to Whisman, these mental factors play an important role in one’s well-being.

Married To Your Best Friend

But the most important reason why happy couples live longer is that they’re constantly with their best friend. Whisman says a happy marriage provides a degree of social support above that provided by friends. Married people tend to spend more time with their partner than their friends, strengthening their mental health.

So, don’t worry. If you’re in a happy marriage, you’re in good health. Unhappy marriages, however, have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. We’ll let you digest this study yourself.